In the summertime when the weather is hot

Special Collections is the right spot

For researchers who have music, music on their mind!

Here is the inspiration for my little rhyme…I’m an archivist not a poet, so please, no harsh judgement.

The summer months are usually the busiest time for Special Collections, when historians, musicians, professors and researchers visit the archives for their studies. In our beautiful and more importantly temperature controlled Reading Room, patrons can view our many music, university and history collections. And, of course the Allan Blank Papers Collection, 1958-2009!

Old Dominion Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Perfect for researchers interested in music and wanting to beat the heat!

What kind of music collections does the Old Dominion University Special Collections and University Archives offer? Here is a small sampling:

  • Old Dominion University Department of Music Records, 1949-2018— the contents include the department’s programs, handbooks and reports
  • Virginia Symphony Orchestra Records, 1921-2018, undated— the scope of this collection includes publicity, photographs, concert programs and multimedia
  • Tom Reel Papers, 1986-2018— a collection of papers from a bassist of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, who was a leader of the 1988 musician’s strike.
  • Peter Mark Papers, 1953-2014, undated— this collection includes correspondence, administrative records and programs from the founding General Director and Artistic Director of the Virginia Opera
  • Virginia Stage Company, 1968-2014, undated— the materials in this collection include organizational records, financial records, programs, news clippings and marketing materials.
A sneak peek of the Special Collections and University Archives holdings.

Click HERE to search all the collections housed in Special Collections and University Archives.

A short walk across campus (its nearly 100 degrees outside today, stay hydrated!), is the Diehn Composers Room. Here is housed the Old Dominion University Music Library and Music Special Collections. The facility boasts a Listening Room which holds music recordings, kits and music videos. A Reading Room for quiet study, viewing of manuscripts and even a Steinway Grand Piano for practice. Lastly, the Seminar Room for group study and lecture.

Deihn Composers Room, reading area. A place where researchers can find reference materials, recordings and scores.

What type of acquisitions are housed in the Music Special Collections for patrons to view:

  • F. Ludwig Diehn Papers, 1907-1996— the very first collection given to the Music Special Collections by the founder of the Diehn Composers Room, which includes scores, parts, sketches, programs, correspondence, and photographs
  • Russell Stanger Papers, 1920-2008, undated— the renowned conductor’s collection of conducting scores, compositions, lecture notes, correspondence and photographs
  • Vernon Perdue Davis Papers, 1942-1999, undated— this collection includes the personal papers, scores, parts, sketches, publicity and reference materials of the composer
  • William Stoney Papers, 1958-1996— the collection holds the composer’s working files, original compositions, teaching materials and reference materials
  • National Band Association William D. Revelli Memorial Band Competition Winners Collection, 1977-2008— is comprised of scores and recordings collected by Dr. Matthew McCutchen, used in his doctoral dissertation and later donated to Special Collections

Click HERE to for music research guides created by ODU’s Humanities Liaison Librarian.

As the Old Dominion Special Collections widens it’s musical scope, we’ve been attracting new collections, such as the Frank Guida Collection. Mr. Guida was a rock n’ roll music producer known for the “Norfolk Sound”. He worked with Jimmy Soul, Lenis Guess and Gary U.S. Bonds. All chart toppers from the Hampton Roads region. Right now the collection is still being processed, but should be open to patrons very soon!

Our goal is to make the Diehn Composer’s Room and Special Collections the premiere site for music researchers. Bringing notice and preserving the “Norfolk Sound”, classical coastal Virginia compositions and the music of Hampton Roads. With hopes of enticing more composers and musicians to donate their work for researchers and students in generations to come.

If you are a musician, or composer interested in donating your work to the Old Dominion Special Collections and University Archives, we would love to hear from you! Please contact us at: 757-683-5350 or